jump to navigation

上海新天地 September 4, 2016

Posted by hslu in China, Food, Restaurants, Shanghai, Travel.
Tags: ,
add a comment

好久沒來新天地了。新天地剛開沒多久我們就聞名而來見識見識了。那時,新天地只有前後一條不算寬的步行街道。店子不多,都是新開的,大部分都是外國餐館或咖啡店,只有幾家是賣東西的。步行街街底後面的五層高的購物商場還沒有完全蓋好,大部分都是空的。頂樓的一個電影院也才剛剛開張,我們倆還在那看過電影呢。

因為新天地剛剛開張,名聲還不夠大,新天地的商家還藉著感恩節和聖誕節的到來做個節目,搭了一個舞台,弄了燈光和擴音器,請了一個漂亮的女模特兒和一個男生做節目主持人,又請上海的一個什麼官員來剪彩。石庫門博物館還剛剛開門,要收費,沒什麽人去參觀。步行街街道邊上多是外國飯館,價錢和七,八年前美國餐館的價錢差不多。我們去過幾次,喝啤酒,吃外國飯,換換口味,也還蠻喜歡的。

新天地是一個許多外國人來吃飯和休閒的地方,它也是一個上海時髦姑娘和特殊工作人員吊外國男朋友的地方。這裏收費高,普通上海人是不會來這開銷的。年輕的男生也不多。那時,美金很好用,人民幣沒有人要。來這裏逛街和吃飯的小姐個個年輕貌美,打扮時髦,濃妝艷抹,穿著大膽,行為誇張。街上的行人看到她們總忍不住要回頭看看。外國人來上海出差和旅遊的,尤其是年輕人,也知道這個地方的特性。他們也趨之若襟,喝酒,吃飯,抽菸,灑錢找樂子($1美金換¥8人民幣)跟圍在xx上的蒼蠅一樣,趕也趕不走。那些姑娘也崇洋媚外,一拍即合,一個願打,一個願挨,大家找樂子,也是沒有辦法。

近來,中國經濟增長速度很快,上海GDP飛漲,高級餐館到處都是,酒吧滿街數都數不完。人民幣升值,美金已經沒有以前那麽吃香,外國人也不稀奇了。中國,尤其是上海,有錢的中國人和有錢的小夥子也多的是。年輕的姑娘還是打扮妖豔,不過沒多少美貌如花的姑娘跟著外國人團團轉了。真是此一時彼一時也。

以前,在步行街後面商場的邊上,有一家賣美國餐的飯店。實際賣什麽菜我已經不記得了。餐館消費不低,不過東西不怎麽好吃,雞尾酒的味道也很淡,一點味道都沒有。進了這家飯店可是要付一個不算少的基本價。吃飯另外算錢。不過可以不吃飯,只喝酒,叫一些小菜,聽歌。

餐館有一位身材修長,容貌可愛,長頭髪的女生在禮拜二晚上唱歌。看起來,聽起來都像是臺灣來的姑娘。跟她搭配的是另外一個女生。不唱歌,也不怎麽說話。她個子不高,可是彈得一手好電子琴。她們倆每個禮拜二的晚上在這餐館唱歌,唱的大部分是臺灣六,七十年代的抒情歌,像藍與黑,午夜香吻,負心的人和何日君再來,等等。她的歌聲優美,很有臺灣舞廳樂隊,小姐唱歌的味道,我很喜歡。她唱歌也頗有蔡琴的味道,聲音低沉,柔和美妙,老遠在餐館外面就聽得到。

客人也可以點歌。只要她會唱,她都會爲客人唱一曲。有時候,她也唱香港歌星的歌,可是她幾乎不唱男歌星唱的歌。有一次我點劉德華的忘情水,她看了我寫的字條就說她不唱男歌星的歌,我才知道。我前後去過三次,可惜後來她不再來了。不知道是餐館不要她來,還是她另有高就了。

今天禮拜五我們決定再去新天地看看,朝聖一次。離上次來應該有三,四年了吧。新天地變了許多,變大了一點。後面的空房子也改成餐館,酒吧和,咖啡廳和按摩店(美其名曰 spa)了。後面的商場變大了。它還跟另外一個商場連在一起。許多舊的餐館都不見了。換了新的一批。以前那個女歌手唱歌的餐館已經變成一個法國餐廳。

我們選了一家Mexicana的餐館(El Luchador)進餐。點了兩個頭臺:corn lollipops 和 Avocado Tempura (deep fried in squid ink),一客 Chicken Quesadillas 和一客Fajitas。東西都不錯。味道也不比美國的餐館味道差。只不過客人沒有免費的chips amd salsa可以吃了。你想要?付錢吧!大爺。

吃了飯我們在附近逛逛,參觀一下新天地熱鬧非凡的景色。看起來新天地附近開了好多新的商場,附近幾條街上也都是餐館和不同的店子,街上車水馬龍,兩邊燈火通明。新天地步行街上每個餐館的外面都擺滿了座椅。這幾個餐館個個都是高朋滿座,餐廳的客人喝酒,吃飯,聊天,不亦樂乎。新天地還有許多小巷子。巷子裏也有另外一番風味。計程車在新天地的街邊停了好幾輛。如果你不要坐計程車,10號線上的新天地地鐵站只要五分鐘就到了。

新天地依舊熱鬧非凡,只不過它已經不是外國人的專有了。現在的新天地比以前要大,要好,要更熱鬧,可是新天地大部分是本地的有錢人和生意人光顧的地方。外國人反而來的比較少了。

上海田子坊 Shanghai Tian Zi Fang January 19, 2011

Posted by hslu in China, Shanghai, Travel.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

上海田子坊 “shang4 hai3 tian2 zi3 fang3” was a very unique place: narrow alleys, boutique shops, craft stores, art vendors, tailor shops, western-style restaurants with outside seating, dark bars and foreign tourists.It wasn’t like 新天地 “xin1 tian1 di4” which has a pretty shell but no class. It wasn’t like 外滩 “wai4 tan1” which has a sense of prestige but cold.

田子坊 has that “old Shanghai” feel but it didn’t make me wanted to escape that artificial setting.  It could be the time of our visit, a cold November evening, most restaurants were quite empty. Bars were quiet too. We could spot the tourists right away because they took their time looking over the menu posted outside of the restaurants or walked in and out of the stores lining both sides of  the narrow alleys. There were a few local residents too but they walked past us quickly and didn’t even bother to cross eyes with us.

A statue of a female 紅衛兵 "hong2 wei4 bing1"

 

Window display of a wine shop.

 

 

Sign of a store which sells Buddha stuff

Waiting for a mouse

 

Did you see the 弥勒佛 "mi1 le1 fo2?"

 

The cat was mad at me.

We didn’t stay for dinner because I didn’t like any of the restaurants there because they were all over-priced.

I did spot the following 對聯 on the outside of a small craft shop and I liked it very much.

Here is why:

Very good, indeed.

上海游記 Nov. 28 – Dec. 16, 2009 Day 8, Shanghai January 19, 2010

Posted by hslu in China, Chinese Food, Food, Restaurants, Shanghai, Travel.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

上海游記 Nov. 28 – Dec. 16, 2009

Day 8, Shanghai, Friday, December 4, 2009, Part II

After getting off the bus at 人民廣場 “ren2 min2 guang3 chang3,” we took a taxi to 淮海路 “huai2 hai3 lu4” and spent some time逛逛 “guang4 guang4” there.  At 上海時代廣場 “shang4 hai3 shi1 dai4 guang3 chang3” or Shanghai’s Time Square, we saw a display illustrating the history of a prominent Cantonese restaurant called 太平館餐廳 “tai4 ping2 guan3 can1 ting1” which first opened its door in Guangzhou, Canton 150 years ago. many famous politicians and author such as 周恩來 “zhou1 en1 lai3,” 蔣介石 “jiang3 jie4 shi2,” 李宗仁 “li3 zong1 ren2” and 魯迅 “lu3 xun4” have been their guests over the years. Its Hong Kong restaurant started in 1937 and the Shanghai store opened probably a couple of years ago.

What’s also interesting about its Shanghai Time Square location was that, at its grand opening, about 60 celebrities such as  張學友, 李嘉欣, 李安, 周杰倫, 李連杰,  成龍 and 張愛嘉 had attended the celebration and left their signatures on the board outside. It must have been an eye-opening, star studded evening. I wondered how much money the owner spent on paying off these celebrities; must have been in the millions.

We also stopped by a McDonald’s on 淮海路 and had some French fries. The McDonald’s was so busy that we had to wait to find a 2-top. Even eating at McDonald’s was considered a luxury, many people still lined up to eat their burgers here at dinner time.

We then walked to 新天地 “xin1 tian1 di4” to watch a movie, 花木蘭 “hua1 mu4 lan2” which was highly recommended by Xiaobao. The movie described the legend of a girl, 花木蘭, who took her father’s place to serve in the Army. I knew this story since I was a kid and learned to sign the 木蘭辭 ”mu4 lan2 ci1” or mu4 lan2 ballad in school and from my Mom. She would often sign the song a few lines at a time and then explain the meaning of the lyric to us. To this date, I still know the music from start to finish but had struggled to remember the lyric. The movie was a good one with impressive fighting scenes. However, the director and the screenwriters took liberty to change the story line a bit. For me, I still go by the famous 木蘭辭 and the song for inspiration. The following two sites provide a good source to learn the legend and 木蘭辭 in detail. I liked the movie and the actress.

http://www.chinapage.com/mulan.html

http://www.yellowbridge.com/onlinelit/mulan.php

When we got out of the movie, it was close to 12 PM. We didn’t want to have dinner at 新天地 because it was quite expensive to eat there. We decided to go back to Nanjing Lu 步行街 “bu4 xing1 jie1”to have something to eat.

We found a small noodle restaurant in an alley and ordered stir-fried 刀削麵 “dao1 xiao1 mian4,” 湯餃 “tang1 jiao3,” 蛋炒飯”cao3 fan4” (They ran out of chicken or pork) and a green leaf vegetable dish. 刀削麵 was made not from a roller pin but through the use of a sharp knife slicing thick noodles off a piece of dough. They were all very good because we all were very hungry. However, to my surprise, the restaurant added curry powder to 刀削麵 and 湯餃 which was a little unusual to us. We finished everything and went back to hotel.

Tomorrow would be our last full day in Shanghai and I needed to think about what to do after shower.

上海游記 Nov. 28 – Dec. 16, 2009 Day 4, Shanghai December 29, 2009

Posted by hslu in China, Food, Restaurants, Shanghai, Travel.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

上海游記 Nov. 28 – Dec. 16, 2009

Day 4, Shanghai, Monday, November 30, 2009

It was another cloudy day in Shanghai when we got super early to exercise. After another breakfast buffet, we headed out to another day of adventure. By this time, the sun was out and the sky got a little clear. The famous Oriental Pearl Tower 东方明珠 “dong1 fang1 ming2 zhu1” gradually showed up behind our hotel. The air was still kind thick and felt like an invisible cloak following us around. Thanks to the cold weather, the smog was a little easier to tolerate.

淮海路 “huai2 hai3 lu4” is famous for its name-banded stores, department stores, boutique shops, beautiful shopping malls, restaurants and pretty girls dressed in the latest designer clothes. We took our time enjoying the street scene strolling in and out of shops along 淮海中路; the busiest stretch of the 6 KM long street. We shopped at uniglo, 太平洋百货 (Pacific Department Store,) a couple of smaller department stores and a few others. As sky got darker, the trees along the street were dressed up with multi-colored Christmas lights to as far as eye could see. However, I wasn’t in any X’mas spirit probably because we were traveling. Our lunch was quick and easy at a café.  We had a steak/rice combo, rice with meat sauce and a wonton noodle soup; nothing to rave about.

When evening approached, more people showed up to shop, eat or simply 逛逛 like us. Near by, a subway station was busy with people rushed in and out of the building trying to go home. We sneaked into The McDonald’s to get warm and ordered something drink to kill time. The place was filled with people young and old. The small McDonald’s was doing a great business with four or five cash registers each with a line of five or six deep. Their prices were a bit higher than what we paid in the U.S. Of course, with the medium income of a Chinese citizen much lower, the price they paid was considerably higher based on purchasing power parity. Well, Shanghai was filled with rich people who could afford this kind of spending many times over and the name-brand designer cloth on many young girls in this area certainly made that statement very clear to me. I also saw one of my favorite restaurants here: 糖朝 “tang2 chao2, ” a Hong Kong-based restaurant famous for their sweet dishes. We like it so much that we had two meals there last time when we were in Hong Kong.

Another place we went to was 新天地 “xin1 tian1 di4,” an up-scale tourist area frequented by foreign tourists and local hot shots with new-found riches. It was only a few blocks away from太平洋百货. 新天地 literally means New heaven and Earth. It occupied an area of a few blocks with restored 石库门 “shi2 ku4 men2” or stone gate; referring to the stone gate in front of the multi-family building. It was a popular style of housing in Shanghai.

石库门

The place was filled with cafés, restaurants, book store, a court yard with several kiosks and a theater. Many restaurants had outside sittings equipped with propane heaters to keep their customers warm. Since it was a Monday, the outside sitting areas were quite empty and most people congregated inside the restaurants. A few of them had very loud music blasting from big speakers by the entrance of the restaurant.

As we strolling up and down the court yard, I was attracted by a beautiful female voice coming from the restaurant near the center of the court yard. The female voice was soft and sweet but I couldn’t see her face. She was singing Chinese songs from the 60’s and 70’s which were made popular in Taiwan by entertainment program like 群星會 “qun2 xing1 hui4” and signers like 鄧麗君 “deng4 li4 jun1.” It certainly made me stop to enjoy her voice and quietly sang with her. Unfortunately she only performed on Monday otherwise I would came back to listen to her some other day.

About the time we got ready to have dinner, we saw a Shanghainese woman in her early 30’s practicing her 臺詞 “tai2 ci2” (speech to be given on a stage) in English for a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Her English was very good and she attracted a small crowd including us. From her prepared speech, I speculated that a 副黨書記 “fu4 dang3 shu1 ji4” (vice Party Secretary) of Shanghai would be the guest of honor and he would be the one who threw the switch and officially ushered in Christmas holiday to Xintiandi. Of course, many 董事長 “dong3 shi4 zhang3” or CEO and 經理”jing1 li3” or manager would be on the stage too. I guessed the owner of Xintiandi must be a person of importance otherwise he wouldn’t be able to have a 副黨書記attending the ceremony. Because she was practicing her speech in English, there must be foreign dignitaries on the guest of honor list. I saw power mixing with wealth and without powerful connections; wealth could be hard to come by in Shanghai or anywhere in China for that matter. Well, what did I know? I was on vacation, wasn’t I?

We had our dinner at Fountain Bistro and Wine Bar: a restaurant with fusion-style food combining French and Mediterranean cuisine. The place was warm, loud and busy. Bao and I each ordered a cocktail, a clam chowder soup in a bread cup and shared a shrimp appetizer with some greens. Maria and I shared a paella and Xiaobao ordered a fish and chips. The soup was good: rich, creamy and hot. The shrimp was crispy on the outside and the meat was fresh. Paella and fish and chips were just okay. It was not cheap even by American standard.

After dinner, we were going to watch a movie at Xintiandi but decided to go back to the hotel because we needed to check out of the hotel early tomorrow morning. Our schedule called for us going to上海南站 “shang4 hai3 nan2 zhan4” or South train station of Shanghai and we would take a fast train to Hangzhou杭州, one of the most beautiful place in China.

4 Days in Shanghai 上海 – 1st Day, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008 November 24, 2008

Posted by hslu in Travel.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

4 Days in Shanghai – Oct 11 – 15, 2008 上海

Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008 – Shanghai 上海

Yesterday I checked the shuttle bus schedule posted on the bus stop near our hotel 龍堡大飯店. The shuttle bus is supposed to come every 24 minutes and the first bus arrives at 6:30 every morning. I figured that we need to be out there around 8:30 AM to catch the K5 shuttle bus to Kowloon Station and that would give us plenty of time to catch our flight to Shanghai at 11:15 AM. We got there at 8:35 and waited for the bus. We waited, waited and waited for at least 24 minutes. And we didn’t see any K5 bus. Maria got nervous and wanted to check with the hotel front desk. I told her not to because if the shuttle came, we had to leave her behind. Many big buses also stopped by to pick up hotel customers to the airport. We had to wait but I began to get worried a bit. The shuttle finally came around 9:05 and it took less than 5 minutes to reach Kowloon Station because our hotel is the last of the five stops on this route. We got on Airport Express (light rail) and arrived at the airport near 9:30. Check-in at China Eastern Airline was swift and easy. The front desk agent was very courteous and efficient. We went through security and custom with little delay and arrived at the gate with plenty of time to spare.

The flight was pretty full and the meal was quite enjoyable probably because we haven’t had anything to eat since this morning. We arrived at Pu Dong International Airport at 2:40 or so in the afternoon. I decided to keep one of our two pieces of luggage at airport so that we didn’t have to drag both of them around. The luggage storage counter near the luggage claim wasn’t working because they were testing the facility. I had to go to the top floor near Gate 4 to check in my luggage. Based on the info the guy told me, it probably will cost me around 20 dollars. I thought that was a good deal. However, I didn’t realize that China Eastern is in Terminal 1 while Air Nippon Airway is in Terminal 2. This created a bit of hassle on the day we left Shanghai. That’s for another day though. We would stay here 4 nights.

I checked the options to downtown and decided to take the express bus. It would stop at 人民公園 People’s Park which was not too far from our hotel in Shanghai: 中福大酒家 The Charms Hotel on Jiu Jiang Lu. The bus was crowded and it made several stops before dropped us off at a busy intersection near the People’s Park. Before getting off the bus, I asked the girl who was in charge of the tickets about direction to the hotel. She said that it is quite far and it would be better to take a taxi. After getting off the bus, I realized that it would be quite an effort to drag a luggage and walk a mile or two to the hotel. We called a taxi and told the driver where we were going. He asked us to put the luggage in the trunk (he had no intention to give us a hand) and took us there in less than 10 minutes. 中福大酒家 is a government managed hotel in the heart of Shanghai downtown 黄浦区. It is one block south of Nanjing Dong Lu 南京东路 or 南京路步行街 on Jiujiang Lu 九江路. It was renovated about 6 years ago and our travel agent in Vienna, Virginia chose it for us.

When we arrived at the hotel, we were surprised to see my brother already there waiting for us. My brother left the US about 2 weeks before we left for Japan. He was visiting his college friends in Shanghai and we had planned to get together in Shanghai after we got there. I was going to call him after we checked into our hotel. Now that he was here, we were quite happy to see him. After we checked in and got our luggage, he wanted to take us for a body massage before dinner with him and his friends. He said that he had enjoyed body massage since he arrived at Shanghai three weeks ago and swore that massage has benefits such as relaxing over-stressed muscles, promoting blood circulation, soothing pressure points, etc.

I have never been to a massage place because I wasn’t used to be handled by a stranger. My brother promised us that it would be a nice treat to our bodies after a long flight and encouraged us to go. I finally agreed because on one hand I might be embarrassed to be touched by a stranger but I was also curious and wanted to know what it is like in a massage parlor. The place he took us to is called 益力(雪莉)保健按摩中心Yili (Shirley) Massage Center. The massage center has 6 stores in Shanghai and we went to the one in the 虹橋 section of the Shanghai metropolitan area. The 虹橋 store was close to where he stayed in Shanghai; an apartment rented by one of his friends. It is also very close to where the dinner was.

The Massage Center was located on the second floor. My brother took us to the front desk and told the receptionist that we liked to have a full-body massage. The Center wasn’t very flashy at all. It has no decoration, no fresh flower, no soothing music, no paintings on the wall, and no comfortable lounge chairs in the small lobby. It appeared that lobby was a common area shared with other businesses on the second floor. In fact, it was just like an ordinary office with separate rooms. The center has probably 7 or 8 small rooms, each about 150 square feet in size. The female receptionist looked like a supervisor or the leader of this division office. She asked us whether we like to have a masseur (Male) or a masseuse (female). We both requested a masseuse. My brother also requested a masseuse as well. The supervisor then called out for 3 masseuses for full body massage and asked another lady to take us to a room just around the corner. The room has 3 massage tables and she asked us to wait in there. Soon, a boy in his late teens or early 20’s stepped in the room and gave each of us a pajama and a wash pan. He asked us to change, put our dress in the wash pan and leave it under the massage table. He came back later, dimmed the light and left.

Soon after we changed into our pajama, three ladies showed up and asked us to lie on our stomach on the massage table. From our conversation, I believed that they were in their 20’s or early 30’s and they came from Shan Xi province. They learned the skill from school and have done this for many years. They are all certified by the city and have the important relationship between pressure points in our body 穴道, qi 氣 (our body’s vital energy,) meridian or channel 经络 and circulation of blood. My brother forewarned me that it might hurt and if it did, I could tell her to put less pressure on the pressure points. Since I didn’t know what to expect, I decided to see what it was like without any restrictions on their hand strength. They proceeded to massage us according to a pre-determined procedure. They started from the upper body and gradually worked their way to the legs. My brother was right! It really hurt at times but I didn’t yell or ask for mercy. Not too far into the procedure, she said to me that my stomach seemed to be a trouble spot in my body. Maria said to her that I had some problem with my stomach for some times now. Although it wasn’t very serious, I had to take medicine to fix the reflux problem about a year ago. It occasionally still gave me some problem in the night, but for the most part, the problem had gone away. I am not sure how she figured that out but I was amazed. I have heard from a friend of mine who has studied traditional Chinese medicine that there are hundreds of pressure points in our body and many are related to our internal organs in our body. If an organ is not well, it will be reflected on pressure points 穴道 along the meridian 经络 corresponding to that particular organ. I guessed that there was something on that pressure points 穴道 which let her make that comment. She also said that many muscles on my upper body especially around the shoulders were very tight. I didn’t know whether that was from the 3-hour flight or that was like that all the time. She kept telling me to relax but I couldn’t help but to resist the pressure she put on my pressure points 穴道 because it really hurt. This last an hour or so and at the end I couldn’t tell whether I felt better than I first came in. I did feel kind of warm all over my body probably from loosening up those pressure points 穴道 which might have promoted blood circulation in my body. In any case, it was a nice experience and Maria liked it too. The fee was $60 RMB (about $9 USD) with $20 RMB ($3 USD) tips for each of us. It was a great deal and I might want to come back for one more time before we left Shanghai. Also from our conversation with the ladies, I figured that they each had 7 to 10 customers in any given day. These ladies do not receive any salary from the owner. For each customer, I figure that they could keep $20 to $30 RMB or so. Add $20 RMB tips, that comes to about $50 RMB from each customer. Each day, they could make some where between $350 to $500 RMB.I guessed that wasn’t too bad for a skilled person from a small village.
We then took a taxi to the restaurant where my brother’s friend had arranged a dinner party to welcome us. The restaurant is called 来天华 万都店. It is a Shanghai restaurant. We were led to a small private room on the second floor. My brother’s two friends were already there. They also brought their girl friends too. Both of them were my brother’s college friends and I have met one when we were here last time in 2001. Back then, we accompanied our parents to our home town in Hubei Province. We flew into Shanghai and my brother’s friend, who works here as a manager for a solar company based in Taiwan, invited us for a memorable dinner. The restaurant was called 當紅炸子雞. It was a huge restaurant with capacity for 3000 people. The big open hall downstairs was so large that waiters and waitresses wore roller skates to take customers orders and bring food to their tables. Near the entrance along the right wall were two banks of 20 live seafood tanks. In addition, there were about 50 big buckets which also filled with live seafood. We ate downstairs but took a unscheduled tour upstairs. We were told that the up stairs had 99 private rooms of various sizes. It was amazing. The other friend studied law in Taiwan and worked for Department of Legislature in Taiwan for 20 years. He has recently retired after 25 years and was traveling several cities to look for business or working opportunities.

After introduction, the waitress started to bring cold plates to the room and we started to drink a bottle of 8- or 10-year old Chinese wine 黃酒 called 古越龍山. When I was in Taiwan and sometimes after I came to the US , I occasionally drank 黃酒 called  陳年紹興酒 made by Taiwan’s Bureau of Tobacco and Wine Sales , mostly with friends. I have never liked it because it wasn’t very smooth nor it had any body or finish. This wine was quite different and quite drinkable: smooth, full of flavor and has some body. I will look for it after I came back to the US. There were six or eight cold dishes and all of them were very light but full of flavor. The presentation was beautiful too. That’s what I like about Shanghai Cai 上海菜: no heavy sauce to overshadow the original taste of the meat or vegetable. There were 8 entrée including the famous 水晶虾仁 Crystal Shrimp and 红烧肉 Pork Stew. The shrimp was small but tender. It came without any vegetables at all: all shrimp and lightly covered with a creamy sauce. The Pork Stew was soft and not greasy at all. I could do the pork stew but can cook the shrimp as good as it does. The diner last about an hour and half and I invited them to a dinner on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, our host couldn’t make it because he has to go back to the plant about 2 hours away from Shanghai.

Since it was still early, they took us to a very popular place called Xin Tian Di 新天地 which was on img_0783img_0785

my list of places to visit. I have also picked restaurant T8 in Xin Tian Di 新天地 to try its contemporary cuisine. It looked like I have to put this off along with either Jean Georges or Laris on the Bund until next time we are in Shanghai. Xin Tian Di 新天地 is a neighborhood of old Shikumen 石庫門 which is a type of houses with stone carvings, on the wall, raw stone streets and brick walls found only in Shanghai. The area was renovated several years ago and converted into a chic place full of boutiques, restaurants and night clubs. The area was very crowded with foreigners, tourists and young local people. Every restaurant and club was busy. We first walked around and saw a small Shikumen Museum there but didn’t go in because it required paid admission to see the inside. We then went to a bar (Spanish?) and had some beer there. The bar was small with a small band. The music was loud, people were yelling when they talked and our pretty, tall and young waitress pushed us to buy Heineken in a small keg. My brother’s friend went to the front and checked out the band because he is an armature musician specialized in bass guitar in Taiwan. He and a few of his friends had a band playing at various functions. We sat there for about an hour and left. We then took a taxi back to our hotel. My brother told me that another of his friend would invite us to dinner tomorrow (Sunday) night. I told him that we’d return the favor the night (Tuesday) before we left Shanghai. He agreed and said he’ll talk to his friend and look for a place. We agreed to meet at the restaurant tomorrow night at 6:30.

It was still early when were got back to our hotel. We decide to walk a couple of blocks and check out 南京路步行街 in the night. We were told that Shanghai is a very safe place and there were many people there even at around 10 O’clock in the night. We walked around the blocks and had some ice cream. Tomorrow we would be on our own. We planned to visit Yuyuan Garden 豫园, Temple of the Town Gods 城隍庙 and The Bund 外滩. I also planned to call a friend of mine who has retired from restaurant supply business in Maryland. I tried to contact him before we left for the trip but was unable to get hold of him because he was in Shanghai. His wife, still in Maryland, got the message and called him. He called me about a week before our trip and I said that I wanted to meet him and wanted to talk to him about the real estate market in Shanghai. Well, that’s for tomorrow.

%d bloggers like this: